NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v WESTS TIGERS
Date: Sunday April 10
Kick off: 1.45pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Kainoa Gudgeon, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Henry Penn, 5. Matt Soper-Lawler, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Tyrone Amey, 9. Joe Morris, 10. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11. Eddy Tuilotolava, 12. Braden Robson, 13. Ryan Glanville. Interchange: 14. Zac Hosking, 15. Sam Stone, 16. Jordon Pinnock, 20. Jayden Butterfield.
1. Luke Sharpe, 2. Jesse Jackson, 3. Ryland Jacobs, 4. Samuel DeFiddes, 5. Obed Karwhin, 6. Veiru Mapesone, 7. Thomas Bartley, 8. JJ Felise, 9. Jacob Liddle, 10. Junior Tatola (capt.), 11. Bayley Sironen, 12. Esan Marsters, 13. Mark McCormack. Interchange: 14. Daniel Peck, 15. Jakob Giles, 16. Trent Pye, 17. Jack Wheelhouse 18. Royce Tout.
The NYC Newcastle Knights strive to string together their third consecutive win when they return to Hunter Stadium on Sunday to take on the Wests Tigers.
The young side has managed the challenge of back-to-back road trips to New Zealand and Melbourne exceptionally well.
“The last two weeks, to get two big wins is a great effort," coach Todd Lowrie said.
While last week’s win was established through a strong start, the focus this week will be maintaining that momentum for a longer period of time.
“We started really well and played exactly to our game plan in the first half which worked really well,” he said about the side’s win against the Melbourne Storm.
“We came out in the second half like we knew we were going to and they got a bit of momentum and got in three tries in 12 minutes.
“That put us under the pump a bit, but to our credit, we held on and didn’t leak any more points.
“On the back of two tough weeks, they did really well in the second half.”
It’s time for the Knights to build again, ready for a powerful Wests Tigers side that Lowrie expects to show strength through the middle.
“They are going really well and have a lot of big strong guys who run hard and play tough footy so they will take some stopping,” he said.
“We will have to have a real defensive mindset for the game. If we play well, we will come out on top.
“They are playing well and have some good footy in them.”
As seen already since season’s start, the NYC system has provided a clear pathway to reserve grade and the NRL for a number of players.
Last week a combination between Ken Tofilau and Cory Denniss worked magic on the edge producing several tries.
“Whilst it would be nice for us, I don’t think we’ll see them in 20s too often,” Lowrie admitted.
“Credit to them and the way they have played, they have some opportunities in higher grades.”
It’s the success and progression of Under 20s players that’s sure to have a motivating influence on their teammates.
“They see guys like Cory (Denniss) in first grade and even Ken (Tofilau) and Matt Soper-Lawler who get opportunities in reserve grade, it has to make the other guys play well around them and have confidence there are other people at the Club looking at how they going.
“It gives them an opportunity to see the Club is watching their development and if they play well then they may get a chance in higher grades.”
Where it will be won:
“As long as we get our defence sorted, I think our attack will take care of itself,” Lowrie said.
The Knights are also looking to rectify a disappointing round three result at Hunter Stadium when they returns home on Sunday.
“They are pretty keen to get back here and put on a good show,” he added.
“It was something we were very disappointed in having that kind of performance at home, so I think there are a few redemptions to be made up.”